[-empyre-] EXCEDENTES/EXCESS Collabroation

Brooke Singer brooke at bsing.net
Wed May 22 00:28:07 EST 2013

I thought I would follow up with some more general comments.

I have been a serial collaborator since 1999 when I began my MFA studies at
Carnegie Mellon. I co-founded a collective with Beatriz da Costa and Jamie
Schulte (preemptive media) as well as have collaborated with other artists,
students, teachers, scientists, agencies and most recently an
anthropologist, my husband and two artists in spain (connected via a blind
date which was luckily a great match!).

I teach collaboration too and just a few days ago during final
presentations saw the power of bringing people together who do not know
each other well -- or at all-- for a common cause or, as Paul notes, shared
agendas. I pair groups of students to make media work for non-profit
organizations in Westchester, a pro-bono approach with a participatory
design bent. But I guess I am left wondering why collaboration is to this
day is still seen as unusual or something special in art practice and art
education and not the modus operandi? Now we are going to study
individuality ... the methods of and reasons for working alone!!

Of course I am being rhetorical but I guess my point is that until the myth
of the genius artist is really burst (not just in academic circles but in
popular beliefs) then this battle wages on. Here is a new project I just
discovered last night: http://www.theexchangearchive.com/form

Their mission:  We aim to *support *artistic research by making *legible* the
people, ideas, and materials that surround exchange-based work today.


On Mon, May 20, 2013 at 2:14 PM, Ricardo Miranda Zuniga <
ricardo at ambriente.com> wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Hello Everyone,
> Renate thank you for inviting Brooke and I to join this week's
> discussion.  I'm going to focus my thoughts on a current collaboration
> that began virtually in 2011, developed in parallel in Madrid and
> Brooklyn with an initial action in Madrid and continues to expand now
> in Brooklyn - EXCEDENTES/EXCESS.
> In early 2011, the culture and art center Matadero Madrid began an
> initiative that was to pair Spanish artists with artist from elsewhere
> to collaborate.  The space and exhibition itself "El Ranchito" would
> focus on process as art.  One of the curators Nerea Cavillo put us in
> contact with Jose Luis Bongore and Beatriz Marcos based on mutual
> interest - very generally that of art as action in the public sphere
> to question modes of globalization.  (As Paul enumerated - (1) Shared
> Agendas.) Over a two week period, we used Skype, Google Docs (now
> Drive) and email to generate the proposal.  And the team
> EXCEDENTES/EXCESS was awarded residency for Brooke and I and a
> generous production commission.  As the final culmination of the
> collaboration was to be presented in Madrid, the proposed project
> focused on food waste in Madrid at a time of heightened unemployment
> when a growing demographic was/is turning to dumpster diving for
> sustenance, but the act of dumpster diving is illegal and may result
> in a 750 euro fine.  The artists proposed to collaborate with
> traditional markets (as opposed to supermarkets) to collect food that
> was to be thrown away at the end of the day and re-distribute on the
> street.
> We continued virtual collaboration throughout the summer and fall of
> 2011 and elected to do the same investigation in Brooklyn as Madrid.
> In Madrid, the team effectively established relationships with food
> vendors willing to participate and worked with TODO POR LA PRAXIS to
> construct a food rescue and re-distribution cart - "Carrito Mermas."
> In Brooklyn, we discovered the Good Samaritan Law that protects from
> liability those who give reasonable assistance, including food
> redistribution and we discovered that a more urgent problem in NYC was
> all the food waste going to landfill.  Since NYC has some 1200 soup
> kitchens and City Harvest rescuing food and dumpster diving is not
> against the law, the Brooklyn research lead to generating ways to
> deter food from landfill.
> Brooke and I landed in Madrid, we worked with Jose Luis and Beatriz to
> assemble all our research for public presentation.  We took the
> Carrito Mermas out for collection and redistribution and we brain
> stormed on how to move forward.  The following are a few of the
> transformations of the collaboration:
> 1. As Brooke and I explained the Good Samaritan Law in the US, Jose
> Luis and Beatriz moved to establish a similar proposal in Madrid.
> Following discussions with law professors and round table was
> assembled and legal proposal began to take form.  Effectively, the
> project changed from a food collection cart to 15+ person team
> including law professionals and community representatives to form a
> bill that would facilitate the redistribution of good food.
> 2. In Brooklyn, we have constructed a food rescue and composting
> quad-cycle that traverses Crown Heights, Prospect Heights and Park
> Slope as spectacle and conversation generator.  We have partnered with
> one restaurant to collect its organic waste and have established a
> composting lot.  The goal is that of micro-composting as the problem
> with composting in NYC is scale (unlike cities like San Francisco or
> Portland) and to show local businesses that composting is good and
> saves them money.
> Most of Paul's points make a lot of sense to us.  This project has
> grown and transformed due to a shared agenda; parity - a mutual
> dedication has been necessary; and a slightly different take on
> nomadism - a similar agenda will have different outcomes based on
> local issues and agreed that a varying skills or flexibility is
> essential.  One point of disagreement is 2. The Non-Rational: Working
> with people that you may disagree with to arrive at a community-based
> initiative can be more challenging and potentially rich on a
> social/community basis than collaborating with ones drinking buddies
> (or whatever ;)
> We do have a video that presents the various facets of the project in
> 5 and a half minutes:
> http://vimeo.com/62918389
> Best,
> ricardo
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
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